First Treasure – New Blog

First official post for BBAW 2010, and the rules are already out of the window as, instead of the one new blog I’ve discovered, I will, in fact, be presenting two.  Yes, I am a rebel without a cause (but with plenty of commas) 😉

The first of my dynamic duo is a Canadian exiled (by choice) in deepest, darkest Japan (I lie, it’s somewhere near Tokyo).  Take a bow Tanabata, curator of the ever-stylish and cherry-blossom emblazoned In Spring It is The Dawn.  This site is a haven for all things Japanese, and having spent three years in the Land of the Rising Sun myself, I am always happy to join in the fun.  The name of the blog comes from the first line of Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book, an ancient Japanese work, and Tanabata (a pseudonym, of course) runs many a readalong of Japanese texts, including the one from which the site takes its name. 

Another fun aspect of the site is the monthly Hello Japan! mini-challenge, where a topic is given, and all and sundry are free to interpret it as best they can and post the results for the world to see (I was lucky enough to win a delightful wooden sumo game after being drawn as the winner of the sport-themed month for my reminiscence of my sumo-watching days…). 

One final reason to spotlight Tanabata is that she is one of the three organisers of the recently-founded ‘South Pacific Bookchat’ on Twitter (#spbkchat).  Every Thursday, at an Asia-Pacific-friendly time (7 p.m. Japan/8 p.m. Eastern Australia/10 p.m. NZ), bloggers from all over the region (and some from further afield) twitter happily away on a pre-determined topic, allowing Asia-Pacific bloggers and tweeters, who can often be neglected by some of the US-/UK-centric events, to get involved in the bookish community.  Just another reason to say Domo Arigato Gozaimasu 🙂

The second of my choices today hails from my home country (England – Australia is just where I am incarcerated for shoplifting choose to live) and is a very active social butterfly in the British section of the blogging world.  Her name is Jackie, and she runs Farm Lane Books, both a blog and an on-line book shop.  As far as I can tell, Jackie seems to be one of the epicentres of the BritLit blogosphere and provides useful connections with other wonderful blogs on the European side of the Atlantic.

As well as keeping me up to date with all that’s happening back home, Jackie allows me to vicariously follow what’s happening in contemporary literature as she is an avid reader of modern fiction, and a compulsive reader of books appearing on long- and short-lists.  I would never try anything like this – I am addicted to my old classics and foreign-language literature, and I’m loath to try a book (let alone a dozen) that I’m less than assured of liking -, so it is wonderful to have someone out there who can do all that for me!

Rest assured: when the Booker Prize winner is announced next month, it’s Jackie’s comments I’ll be looking back to, and her opinion that I’ll be sharing when praising the judges for their perspicacity or slamming them for their total lack of taste 😉

So there you have it: two wonderful blogs, and two lovely people I am in (semi-)regular contact with 🙂  You could do a lot worse than drop by their blogs this week, and see for yourself what makes them great!


13 thoughts on “First Treasure – New Blog

  1. Thank you so much *blushes*

    I've only recently discovered your blog and I love it too. I didn't realise that you were originally from England, but I am so pleased that you find my blog useful for connections to other European blogs. There are so many under-visited ones in Europe and I do my best to promote a few. Hopefully things will improve soon 🙂

    Thanks for explaining #spbkchat for me. I see it on twitter, but had no idea it stood for South Pacific – that makes a lot of sense now 🙂


  2. Thanks for stopping by everyone! Very happy to promote these two, and sorry if I've caused any blushes 😉

    One of the reasons I chose these two is the importance of building up regional blogging hubs outside North America as we can be a little lost in the noise. Hopefully, we can make our voice heard over the coming week 🙂


  3. Just when I think I have subscribed to most book bloggers, you have two that sound amazing that I have missed! And how did I miss your blog all this time?

    I am going to have months of catching up to do on book blogs that I am discovering this week.

    Thanks for sharing!


  4. Thank you so much, Tony! You've truly made my day. 🙂

    I've actually had a weird blogging year this year, often wondering what the heck I'm doing with some of these projects so it really means a lot to me that you appreciate my little efforts. Thank you!!

    I'm also so glad you decided to join us on Twitter for the #spbkchat. Yay for carving out our own little regional blogging party. 😛


  5. Thanks for stopping by everyone – don't forget to visit my recommendees as well 🙂

    Tanabata – No worries 🙂 Just left a quick comment on your latest post. It's definitely time to create an Asia-Pacific blogging central 😉


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